MONROE — A man who admitted to molesting a 12-year-old girl was given a prison sentence that may last the rest of his life Nov. 14.

Steven Grundy, 56, Monroe, admitted to two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child in Sixth District Court. He was sentenced to two terms of 15 years to life in the Utah State Prison. The prison terms are to run concurrent.

Judge Marvin Bagley handed down the sentence after a plea agreement was reached.

Grundy was originally charged with 18 separate counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. The plea allowed all but two of those to be dismissed.

The case was a victory for child victims in the region made possible in part by the Sevier County Children’s Justice Center, which serves Sevier, Wayne and Piute counties, said Karen Ashby, CJC director.

“The victim in this case was so brave,” Ashby said.

Ashby said it’s often difficult for victims of abuse to come forward, especially children. Part of the CJC’s mission is to help start the process of allowing children to get justice and move past abuse.

Each year the CJC serves approximately 250 people — 65 to 70 of which are children who are victims of abuse.

“Three to four of those are physical abuse, while the rest are sexual,” Ashby said.

The CJC is used to interview children who are victims of abuse or other crimes. The interviews are recorded and conducted by professionals with specialized training. The resulting testimony is then used in court, rather than requiring an abuse victim to relive the trauma multiple times by having to testify.

The CJC now has another tool it can offer abuse victims — free counseling.

“We’ve just been approved for a mental health grant,” Ashby said. The $65,000 grant is good for two years.

“It is going to be a good thing,” Ashby said. She said being able to offer free counseling to children and families affected by abuse will help start a healing process that often takes many years.

“Of course we’d rather not have to have anyone use these services, but unfortunately that’s not the world we live in,” Ashby said. “Our stats stay about the same each year.”

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